Michael Flynn charged with making false statements to the FBI: Documents
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(WASHINGTON) — Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has reached a plea deal with the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 elections in which he admits to lying to the FBI about his back channel conversations with the Russian ambassador.
Flynn’s plea signals the former top adviser to Trump is now cooperating with the team of Special Counsel Robert Mueler. A brief statement released by Mueller’s team Friday morning does not say what information Flynn has provided the government as part of this deal, but sources familiar with the agreement told ABC News Friday he has made a decision to assist investigators.
Flynn, who was charged with making false statements according to court documents, becomes the latest Trump associate to face charges in Mueller’s probe and is set to appear in court at 10:30 a.m.
ABC News learned from sources that Flynn’s lawyer Robert Kelner met on Monday with members of Mueller’s team — an indication that a possible plea deal may have been discussed. Trump’s legal team confirmed last week that they were alerted by Kelner that Flynn’s attorneys would no longer share information regarding the Mueller probe.
Sources with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed to ABC News Wednesday that President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner met this month with Mueller’s team and the conversation focused heavily on Flynn.
Flynn was forced to resign in February from the national security adviser position after he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about the nature of his conversations with then-Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. Flynn denied he discussed the U.S. sanctions placed on Russia with Kislyak, but transcripts of Flynn and Kislyak’s phone calls reviewed by Justice Department lawyers showed otherwise.
The retired three-star general quickly became a target of Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference given his contacts with foreign governments before the election. Flynn was paid over $500,000 in speaking fees for speeches for Russian groups that he did not initially list on a financial disclosure form. He also failed to disclose lobbying work his firm engaged in on behalf of the Turkish government.
On Oct. 30, two members of Trump’s campaign staff, former campaign chair Paul Manafort and his longtime associate Rick Gates, were indicted on 12 counts brought by Mueller’s team, including conspiracy against the U.S., conspiracy to launder money and serving as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal.
That same day, it was also revealed that a third Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty earlier in the month to making false statements to FBI agents probing his attempts to arrange a meeting between Russian officials and the campaign.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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